Posted on 03/02/2020 at 11:03 AM by YMCA of Greater Des Moines
No matter where you are on your fitness journey, our group exercise classes meet you wherever you are and help you grow. Whether you're focusing on showing up consistently, pushing harder, going faster or seeing just what you're made of, there are ways to level up in every class! What's your favorite way to up your group ex game?
1. Wear a calorie counter. Decide on a total number of calories to burn (ask your instructor if you're not sure) and work to hit that number during class!
2. Set a goal with a classmate. Having a workout buddy will help you both accomplish more and reach those goals. For example, you could try to hold a high plank together for 45 seconds.
3. Grab a front-row spot. We tend to have more effective workouts when we are closer to the instructor. Give the front row a try! You can better use the mirrors found in most group fitness studios to check out your form while you're exercising. The visual reinforcement can motivate you to push yourself a little further.
4. Increase the intensity. If exercises are too easy for you, ask your instructor to give you safe and more challenging modifications. For example, perform a couple of push-ups on your toes instead of your knees in CXWORX class. In Zumba, try doing the higher-impact or higher-intensity movements for as long as you can. Just don't push yourself too hard and pull a Mike Wazowski!
5. Incorporate heavier weights. Start off with heavier weights than usual and decrease when you need to. For example, during a BodyPump class, try putting extra 2.5-pound plates on your barbell for just one or two muscle groups and using more moderate weight for the others. Before you know it, you'll be using heavier weights the whole time!
6. Add reps. Is the class counting down from 10 reps? Count down from 12. As long as you are working out with proper form and listening to your body, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile.
7. Take a new class to strengthen different muscles. The Y offers a wide variety of class types. There are plenty of options to choose from in both strength training and cardio formats. There really is something for everyone! Get to know the group fitness schedule for your location and branch out to an unfamiliar class format or an instructor who's brand new to you.
Ultimately, you should strive for progress, not perfection. Your fitness level and abilities are likely different from those of your instructors or your classmates, so don’t focus on trying to look like them. Push yourself instead, and you’ll feel stronger with each workout.
Content adapted courtesy of YMCA of Middle Tennessee.